Sky Italia

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Sky Italia
Type Società a responsabilità limitata
Industry Telecommunication
Founded 31 July 2003
Founders Rupert Murdoch
Headquarters Santa Giulia, Rogoredo District, Milan, Italy
Area served Italy
Key people James Murdoch (Chairman)
Andrea Zappia (CEO)
Products Direct-broadcast satellite
Parent BSkyB
Website www.sky.it

Sky Italia S.r.l. is an Italian digital satellite television platform owned by BSkyB, founded on 1 August 2003 by the merger of TELE+ and Stream TV. It is similar in many ways to BSkyB's Sky in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which is partly owned by 21st Century Fox, and like that network it is a major sports broadcaster.

Pay TV services on Sky Italia are encrypted in NDS VideoGuard. The VideoGuard set-top boxes that have been provided since July 2010 are identical to the Sky+ HD boxes used in the UK. Pace, Amstrad and Thomson, all Digibox licensors, have been producing Sky Italia boxes (Sky Box, Sky HD, My Sky and My Sky HD) identical to their Sky Digital, Sky+ and Sky+ HD offerings, albeit with the potential removal of the second card slot and UHF modulator.

History[edit]

Since July 2010 Sky Italia has been giving the 'Sky Digital Key' and the My Sky HD box for free to every new customer (since July 2009 HD channels have been available with no extra cost to all Sky Italia subscribers). The 'Sky Digital Key' is a USB device which has to be connected to the 'My Sky HD' box and to the aerial cable, allowing the customer to receive every DTT SD and HD free channel on the Sky HD or My Sky HD box.

The 'My Sky' boxes launched on 22 November 2005 - based on a new digital receiver with HDD recording capabilities and surround sound output (not previously available on the normal box). Subsequently, the 'My Sky HD' boxes (High Definition with HDD recorder) were added. The 'My Sky HD' service had been provided with an extra charge until July 2010, when it became a base-line service. The service is functionally identical to the BSkyB Sky+ HD.

On 28 June 2010, Sky Italia changed its brands and logos, making them identical to the BSkyB ones.

Sky Italia offers eight packages of channels: five base-level 'Channel Packs' and three optional 'Sky Packs' enhancements. The 'Channel Packs' are: 'Entertainment' with 33 variety, series and semi-generalist channels (3 of them in HD); 'Documentaries and Lifestyle' with 17 channels (2 of them in HD); 'Music' with 16 channels and 27 audio channels; 'Kids' with 21 channels; 'News' with 15 national, local and international news channels and 5 basic sport channels. The 'Sky Packs' are the following: 'Cinema' with 12 movie channels (10 of them in HD), and a 3D channel, Sky Cinema 3D (PPV Sky Primafila movies are 50% off for 'Cinema' subscribers); 'Sport' with 8 channels (5 of them in HD), and a 3D channel, Sky Sport 3D; 'Calcio' with 15 channels (9 of them in HD) covering Italian and international football, the most popular sport in Italy, along with Sky Sport 24 (sport all-news channel), offered as bonus channel for 'Calcio' subscribers. The 'Sky Primafila' service offers pay-per-view movies, sport events and adult content (at night); the pay-per-view movies and some non-sport events are disseminated in 28 'Primafila' channels (8 of them in HD); one channel airs daily Penthouse TV HD programmes, available as a stand-alone premium channel. Sky Primafila has got some similarities to BSkyB's Sky Movies Box Office.

The HD service has been offered without any extra charge since 2009. There are 37 HDTV channels so far broadcasting on Sky, due to become 50 by the end of 2011.

On 1 October 2010, Sky activated its first 3D channel, Sky Sport 3D, available without any extra cost to the Sport pack subscribers. The very first event Sky Sport 3D aired was the 2010 Ryder Cup. On 25 December 2010, Sky launched another 3D channel: Sky Cinema 3D, airing 3D movies, available for free for Cinema pack subscribers. These channel have been replaced by Sky 3D on 6 September 2011.

On many channels, foreign-sourced content is broadcast either with an option to choose between Italian and English language soundtracks (rarely other languages), or with Italian subtitles.

Sky Italia uses the Hot Bird 6/8/9 satellites at 13.0°E, the same satellite fleet used by RAI, Tivù Sat, NOVA Greece, NOVA Cyprus, Cyfra+ and Cyfrowy Polsat.

Tom Mockridge, the then head of Sky Italia replaced Rebekah Brooks as chief executive of News International after she had resigned on 15 July 2011.[1]

Andrea Zappia replaced Tom Mockridge as CEO on 1 August 2011.[2] On 7 October 2011 Sky Italia announced it reached the 5 million subscribers benchmark.

Following News Corporation's split into two on 28 June 2013 to create two separate companies, 21st Century Fox (the re-branded News Corporation), and the spin-off company New News Corp, the 100% stake held by News Corporation in Sky Italia was retained by the re-branded 21st Century Fox.

Following media speculation, on 12 May 2014 Sky Italia's sister company, BSkyB, confirmed that it was in talks with its largest shareholder, 21st Century Fox, about acquiring 21st Century Fox's 57.4% stake in Sky Deutschland and its 100% stake in Sky Italia. The enlarged company would be likely to be called "Sky Europe" and it will consolidate 21st Century Fox's European digital TV assets into one company.[3][4] The sale was announced on 25 July 2014 which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.[5]

Timeline[edit]

2003
2004
  • April: Sky Italia abandons SECA encryption system to switch to the NDS, managed by the News Corporation.
  • November: Sky's subscribers reach 3 million.
2005
  • May: Sky Italia are awarded the broadcast rights to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
  • November: Sky Italia launches the MySky decoder with PVR functionality.
2006
2007
  • April: Fox airs the first TV drama created by an Italian pay television channel, Boris.
  • May: Sky are awarded the broadcast rights for Formula One for two and a half years.
  • November: A selection of Sky channels become available via IPTV on Telecom Italia, Fastweb and Wind.
2008
  • February: Sky are awarded the broadcast rights for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
  • May: Sky launches MySky HD.
  • 30 August: Sky launches sport news channel, Sky Sport 24.
  • December: VAT on subscriptions is increased from 10% to 20%.
2009
2010
  • January: All Serie A matches begin transmitting in high-definition.
  • April: Sky launches three Sky Movies channels in high-definition, bringing the total number of HD channels to 25 channels.
  • June:
    • Sky changes its brand identity with a new logo, similar to that used by BSkyB.
    • Mondiali 1-4 launch for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
  • August: The number of high-definition channels reaches 36.
  • October: The 2010 Ryder Cup final is the first sport event to be broadcast in 3D.
  • November:
    • Sky's subscribers reach 4.8 million.
2011
2012
2013
  • February: Sky's subscribers fall to 4.83 million.
  • March: Sky are awarded the broadcast rights for the Bundesliga for two seasons.
  • 3 April: Cielo launches in HD.
  • May: Sky's subscribers fall to 4.78 million.
  • July: Sky are awarded the broadcast rights for 2014 Winter Olympics, but transfers the rights for the 2016 Summer Olympics to RAI.
  • 9 August: Fox Sports launches on Sky and Mediaset Premium, broadcasting the Premier League, the FA Cup, La Liga and Ligue 1.
  • September: Sky TG24 launches in high-definition, bringing the total number of HD channels to 63.
  • October: Classica and MTV launches in high-definition, bringing the total number of HD channels to 65.
  • November: Sky's subscribers fall to 4.76 million.
  • December: Sky Go launches on Windows Phone.
2014

Sky HD[edit]

Sky Box HD Pace

Sky HD is the brand name of the HDTV service launched by Sky Italia on 20 April 2006 in Italy - during the 2006 FIFA World Cup - to enable high definition channels on Sky Italia to be viewed. The service requires the user to have a Skybox HD (distributed by Sky Italia), and a HDTV with HDCP enabled.

A HD PVR decoder called My Sky HD was launched on 26 May 2008 (on 20 December 2008 was sold a particular edition designed by Fendi in favour of the international organisation Child Priority).

The first generation of Sky Box HD were produced by Amstrad and Pace.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shackle, Samira (2011-07-15). "Ed Miliband calls for the break-up of the Murdoch Empire". New Statesman. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  2. ^ "Sky: Andrea Zappia nuovo ad Sky Italia" (in Italian). ANSA.it. 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  3. ^ Statement on potential acquisition, BSkyB 12 May 2014. Retrieved: 19 June 2014.
  4. '^ Sky Europe': what is behind BSkyB's effort to buy Murdoch's European pay-TV businesses?, The Daily Telegraph 12 May 2014. Retrieved: 19 June 2014.
  5. ^ "BSkyB to pay $9 billion to create Sky Europe". Reuters. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 

External links[edit]